Hillary Clinton Tries to Boost Coakley Campaign with Praise at Boston Event

Hillary Clinton promoted Martha Coakley’s gubernatorial campaign in a speech in Boston on Friday.
Hillary Clinton promoted Martha Coakley’s gubernatorial campaign in a speech in Boston on Friday. –Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe

Hillary Clinton and Senator Elizabeth Warren are in town to campaign on behalf of Martha Coakley, and that boost couldn’t come at a better time for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Clinton’s speech concentrated on women’s economic issues, including paid sick time (a Coakley talking point) and equal pay for equal work.

“A 20th century economy is not going to work for 21st century women and families,’’ Clinton said. “Isn’t it amazing that we’re still debating that women deserve equal pay for equal work?’’

As the attorney general looked on from behind the podium, Clinton lauded Coakley’s work in government over the years.

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“I have followed this race with great attention,’’ Clinton said. “It should not even be close.’’

The event came a day after Republican candidate Charlie Baker took a nine-point lead — 45 percent to 36 percent — in the latest poll from The Boston Globe. That’s a major shift from just last week, when the two candidates were virtually tied.

Coakley insisted she was in a “dead heat’’ with Baker and encouraged those in attendance to continue getting out the vote.

Importantly, Coakley’s lead among women voters shrank to just four percentage points in the poll, down from an 11-point margin last week. What better way to get those female support numbers back up than with rousing speeches from Clinton and Warren?

Clinton is popular among women, and Warren threw her own considerable weight (and her own potential presidential candidacy) behind Coakley’s campaign as well.

During her speech, Clinton even complimented Warren, who could end up being a competitor in the 2016 presidential primaries.

“I love watching Elizabeth give it to those who deserve to get it,’’ Clinton said of Warren. She also called Warren a “passionate champion for working people and middle class families.’’

Clinton’s and Warren’s fundraising abilities would be a boon to Coakley’s slim coffers. Coakley has had a string of high-profile fundraisers alongside political figures already in the campaign. Michelle Obama raised $150,000 in an event earlier this month, and Bill Clinton campaigned for Coakley in Worcester in a speech last week. Vice President Joe Biden is also expected to fundraise for Coakley in Dorchester next Wednesday.

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Governor Deval Patrick and Massachusetts senator Ed Markey also spoke at the event.

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